In a tit-for-tat intercept following American F-22s and Canadian CF-18s being scrambled to intercept and escort Russian nuclear capable bombers off the coast of North America over the weekend, a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker conducted an intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea as it “approached the Russian maritime border” on Monday.
“To intercept the target, the Su-27 fighter from the duty force on air defense was raised into the air. The crew of the Russian fighter approached a safe distance from an air object, identified it as a P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft by the US Air Force,” a basic translation of the Russian statement reads.
The Kremlin also released this video of the intercept:
These types of intercepts are not at all uncommon in recent years, with many unfolding in far more dramatic a manner. Russian fighters have been critizised repeatedly by American officials for conducting unsafe maneuvers in the execution of their intercepts, including a high speed pass across the nose of a U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane with it’s afterburners firing last November.
“While the Russian military is within its right to exercise within international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions,” a Pentagon statement read at the time.
Feature image screen captured from YouTube